15 Mar Borough Meeting Highlights 03-11-2020
Dear West Wildwood Neighbors,
West Wildwood borough held its third meeting of 2020 on Wednesday, March 11th at 5PM and was attended by approximately 25 taxpayers.
Mayor Fox, Commissioner Golden, Commissioner Korobellis, Solicitor Bittner, Municipal Clerk Donna Frederick & Deputy Clerk Carl O’Hala were in attendance.
The following events took place:
- There will be a Community Open House hosted by Atlantic City Electric discussing the upgrade of the power transmission line in Middle Township and West Wildwood. The meeting will be held on April 4th from 10AM to Noon at the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce. Also the Rutgers Environmental Stewards will present “A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE” on April 4th from 10AM to Noon at the Wildwood High School. Flyers with more details about both meetings are posted on the CTWWW website at https://www.ctwww.org/rutgers-climate-change-meeting/ and https://ctwww.org/ac-electric-community-open-house/.
- Resolution 2020-031 amended a prior resolution to correct the dollar amount.
- Resolution 2020-032 was approved for a second temporary budget extension.
- Resolution 2020-033 was approved to hold a closed executive session related to the Mawhinney litigation.
- The petition to stop the bond was certified on March 2nd. A motion to rescind the ordinance was made and approved, effectively killing the bond. A new ordinance may be introduced in the future. The due diligence of CTWWW getting answers to pertinent questions made it possible for the group to step away from the original petition. This was recognized by the Mayor and was made clear that the petition was subsequently submitted by an individual.
- Mayor Fox read the public works report, Commissioner Golden read the police report and Commissioner Korobellis read the finance report. Please see attached.
Other items discussed at the meeting include:
- Commissioner Korobellis will be reviewing the draft 2020 budget with CFO Elaine Crowley on Thursday, March 12th.
- No update on Mayor Fox’s ethics violations.
After the closed session ended, the meeting continued with introduction and approval of a resolution 2020-034 to authorize settlement of the Mawhinney litigation. Jim Birchmeir, the JIF attorney that represented the Borough in the litigation, joined the meeting. The settlement agreement will be drafted by Jim Birchmeir in the next 10 days and sent to the plaintiff’s attorneys for review and approval. The agreement is the results of two rounds of mediation.
The settlement includes a $215,000 payment to the plaintiff. It also includes having Mayor Fox and Police Chief Ferentz dismissed from the lawsuit as they were named in addition to the Borough of West Wildwood. The cost to the Borough has not been determined but will include $20,000 deductible plus a percentage of other legal costs. There is no plan regarding the payment of this agreement. The Mayor and commissioners have to look at the budget and discuss it.
The commissioners did not want to accept this agreement, however, the JIF Attorney convinced them that this agreement represents the lowest risk to the Borough. Details of the mediation discussions are not public, but the settlement agreement will be available to the public once it has been signed by all parties.
When the JIF Attorney was questioned about lessons learned or procedures that may help reduce our vulnerability in the future he stated that his role is only to defend the case and our solicitor and labor counsel should consider that.